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About interviewing...

In one of my more recent posts, Doug Reich has told me that rather than spending my time trying to learn more finance/C++ (I'm rather poor at this though >_<)/Math, I should spend more time brushing up on my interview/job search/networking skills and such...

So this brings me to this question, especially to headhunters such as Sir Connor:

When interviewing someone, how do you tell the difference between these good and bad qualities:

Confidence vs. cockiness/arrogance
Humility vs. self-deprecation
Ambition vs. Greed
Taking due credit vs. egocentric
An honest "I don't know" vs. "he doesn't know preferred stock from livestock!"
Enthusiasm vs. immaturely energetic
Calm and collected vs. not caring/lethargic

Thanks for any replies in advance.
Ilya, yeah I think soft skills will definitely come into play on your way to an offer but your "hard" skills will be the ones that will get your foot in the door...usually. I think, from what I have seen with our clients, what's more important that everything you've mentioned is communication. I seem to remember a thread on this a while back. I'd say if you were to focus on a soft skills, focus on effectively communicating. Aside from that, the other ones that comes up quite a bit is "being able to stay calm under pressure." And this is usually right on the job description for trading roles.

For all the other ones you mention, I can usually (but not always) tell one from the other. For instance I was speaking with a candidate the other day who said "I can pretty much come up with a trading strategy during the interview itself if I learn enough about their business." He was referring to talking to someone at a hedge fund and being able to come up with a strategy for them. I'm not sure he really can or if he's being cocky/overconfident....but we're going to work with him because his record is stellar and he has developed several strategies in the past. If he didn't have a great record and was making claims of coming up with strategies on the fly, that would've been a red flag.

So my point is, it's all "in context," if you will. Does that make sense?